Frequently Asked Questions about our Graduation ceremony


Where and when does this year’s graduation take place?

Friday 7th October 2022
The Nevis Centre
An Aird
Fort William
PH33 6AN

How to find the venue

Paid parking is available at the Nevis Centre.

How will I be informed whether or not I can attend Graduation?

We will send you a letter confirming your invitation and including relevant information using the mailing address that you provided when you enrolled on your course with us. PLEASE NOTE, it is very important that you keep your personal contact details including email address and mailing address up to date with us, so that we can contact you.

Please remember that it is your responsibility to

  • Inform us of any changes to the contact details we hold for you
  • Register for graduation by the deadline using the online form.

If you haven’t received a letter and feel you should have, please contact us on 01397 874000 or email

I’ve achieved two separate qualifications during the last couple of years of lockdown. Will I be presented with both awards?

You will be presented with the highest award you’ve achieved at our Graduation Ceremony, and your name will be listed under that award in the programme

What should I wear?

This is a formal, celebratory occasion, so all students should dress appropriately.

If you have studied a Higher Education course and will be wearing a graduand gown, then black trousers, skirts and dresses with white shirt, blouse or other top are preferred. Alternatively, national dress may be worn.  Please note that academic hoods are designed to hook onto the top button of a shirt or blouse so please bear this in mind when choosing your outfit for the day.

If you have studied a Further Education course or SVQ programme, then please dress smartly.

Handbags & Coats - Cloakroom

Please note that you may be asked to leave your coat or any large handbags in the care of your guests or in the cloakroom provided by Nevis Centre Staff. We would advise you to bring a small handbag or clutch bag which can more easily be carried / left under your seat whilst your award is being presented.

What is the schedule for the day?

  • 10.30 am - 1.45pm Gowning will take place at UHI West Highland College for those receiving a PhD, Postgraduate award, Degree with Honours, an ordinary Degree, a Diploma in Higher Education, a Certificate in Higher Education, a Higher National Diploma, a Higher National Certificate or higher award – our staff will assist you.
  • 2.00-2.40 pm Registration Opens for all students

Professional Photography available before and after the ceremony.

  • From 2pm - Guests may take their seats
  • 2.30pm - Students to be guided into correct order for procession
  • 2.40pm - Academic Staff and Guests form procession
  • 2.50pm - Student Procession
  • 2.55 pm - Academic Procession
  • 3.00pm - Ceremony begins
  • 5.00pm (approx.). - Ceremony ends
  • Followed by: Drinks reception & professional photography

Where will my guests be sitting?

Your guests won’t be sitting with you for the ceremony, they will be seated in the main part of the audience just behind you. You will be sitting with the rest of your fellow students in alphabetical order, by course, so that we can more easily present your award.

Who is the guest speaker for the event?

Our guest speaker will be announced nearer the time.

How do I confirm my attendance at graduation?

You must accept your invitation to attend in this year’s ceremony no later than Tuesday September 20th, 2022. Ideally, you will do this by completing our online form as soon as possible, or you can call us on 01397 874000.

This is also where you will be able to find the links to order your gown if necessary and to confirm to us how many guests will be attending with you.

What happens if I forget to confirm my attendance?

We want to include everyone who wishes to graduate, but only in exceptional circumstances will applications be considered after the deadline of Tuesday September 20th. If you are late in responding, but still wish to graduate, contact our Customer Services team urgently on 01397 874000.

What do I do if I don’t want to attend the ceremony?

If you do not wish to attend Graduation please let us know by completing our online form, thank you.

How many guests can I bring to graduation?

You are allocated 2 seats for guests and these are reserved for you. Our numbers are limited, however, we may have space to accommodate additional guests so please confirm whether you would like your allocated guest places and whether you would like us to notify you of any additional seats over and above this allowance that may become available. We hope to open these additional seats for allocation on Monday September 19 and will inform you as soon as possible after that date. Please ensure we have your correct contact details.

Do I need a Gown/Hood?

You are required to wear a gown/hood if you have been awarded with a PhD, Postgraduate, Degree with Honours, an ordinary Degree, a Diploma in Higher Education, a Certificate in Higher Education, a Higher National Diploma, a Higher National Certificate or higher award.  We do not wear mortar boards as part of the academic dress for our ceremony.

The hire charge for gowns for the day will be £32.00. To hire your gown, you need to visit the Ede & Ravenscroft website and type "UHI West Highland" in Institution Details, click continue and follow the steps from there.

The deadline for hiring gowns is September 16, 2022. These are delivered to UHI West Highland for the day of the graduation (see below).

If you have any problems completing the online form – call Louise Penny or her team on 01397 874277.

Where do I go to be gowned?

If you have hired a gown, it will be delivered to us and will be available at the College in Fort William between 10.30 and 1.45 pm. Our staff will help gown you. After that, you may like to have brunch or a snack with your family and friends before returning to the Nevis Centre for the official registration at 2pm.

Gown returns will be at the venue after the event and gowning staff would be very appreciative that gowns are returned as soon as the ceremony and any photo opportunities have finished.

What time do I have to arrive for registration & the ceremony?

You should arrive at the Nevis Centre at around 2pm. After registering your attendance you will be free to meet up with fellow graduands and staff. You will be called to be seated at around 2.40pm, your family and friends will be seated just prior to that.

I don’t live in Fort William – can I get some help organising my travel?

If you are a UHI West Highland student and travelling to graduation from outside the immediate Fort William area, we are happy to arrange FREE transport for you if you contact us before Friday September 16th. Please contact your local centre manager or call us on 01397 874000 to organise this.

Will I receive an official certificate?

Your certificate will have been posted to your registered address (normally your home address) by your awarding body. You will, however, receive a commemorative letter scroll in a graduation tube on the day as a memento of the occasion.

Will there be formal photography on the day? Any other publicity?

Your official portrait photographs to commemorate your day will be available both before and after the ceremony at a special studio set up in the Nevis Centre.

During the day, UHI West Highland staff and our photographer will be taking photographs and possibly video footage which may include graduates and guests. These marketing shots may be used by us in promotional material and on our website. If you do not wish your photograph to be used, please let us know in writing or by email to

Names and awards of graduands (including those graduating in absentia) will be published in our Order of Service and will also appear in the press. Again, please let us know in writing or by email to if you have any issues with this.

I have outstanding fees to the college/university – will I be able to attend graduation?

No. If you have outstanding debts to the University or one of its Academic Partners, i.e. UHI West Highland, you will not be able to attend the Graduation Ceremony. If you have an outstanding debt, please contact us as soon as possible on 01397 874000.

Is the ceremony suitable for young children to attend?

If you do wish to bring a younger guest with you, they will need to be accompanied by another responsible adult at all times; they cannot sit with you. Unfortunately, there is no childcare available at the Nevis Centre. Graduation ceremonies are formal occasions and can last for around 2 hours, so you might want to think carefully about bringing young children or babies as once you have taken your seat, moving around is difficult and it is impossible to move out of the audience without attracting attention.

I have additional support needs – how do I advise the College of this?

We are happy to make appropriate arrangements for any graduand with additional support needs. If you have mobility challenges, or any other disability or condition that may affect your enjoyment of the ceremony, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate all needs.

Is there an evening celebration event that we can attend?

We've just announced our Graduation Ceilidh - tickets are available now!

  • Dance the night away with brilliant local band “CARNAN” at Caol Community Centre
  • 7pm – midnight including a light buffet supper, cash bar available
  • £10 per person

Tickets available from or from Customer Services Desk at Fort William - contact us on 01397 874000

I have a question – who can I speak to?

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please email and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Data Protection: Filming and photography –use of images

UHI West Highland’s graduation ceremony is a significant event for our graduates, their guests and our staff. This ceremony is a public event and therefore there is no expectation of privacy under data protection legislation for any attendees. Our Privacy Notice explains how personal data will be processed for, and during, the event and provides guidance should you not wish your personal data to be processed in this way. This applies to all students who are intending to graduate or may be eligible for an award, whether they attend the ceremony or not. Please read this important information and ensure your invited guests are also aware of the information relevant to them. Your name will appear in the graduation programme and other print media. If you object to the publication of your personal data in this way please email no later than 3 weeks prior to the date of the ceremony. All graduands and guests should be aware that the graduation ceremony and Reception are public events. Audio/visual images of the ceremony and Reception are publicly available and may well be used in College webpages and publications. Notices are posted around the Nevis Centre on the day to remind you and your guests of this.